A rare April snowstorm is rolling in, bringing blizzard warnings to Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska, Wyoming, South Dakota and Minnesota this week — welcome to the Grand Solar Minimum.
Mild spring temperatures have given way to heavy snow, strong winds and life-threatening conditions across a vast swathe of the central United States running from the Rockies to the Great Lakes, according to the National Weather Service.
Meteorologists said on Wednesday afternoon that the storm system had met the definition of a ‘bomb cyclone’, in which atmospheric pressure drops 24 millibars in 24 hours.
Last month, a deadly bomb cyclone hit Colorado and Nebraska, killing several people.
Forecast models reveal this new storm will only increase in strength as the week progresses, likely reaching a blizzard of record proportions by week’s end.
Shaggy, from Minnesota, tweeted this, ‘if it was December or January, I wouldn’t even think twice about this weather right now. But two April’s in a row with a big snowstorm has got me wondering about some things though.’
Those things you’re wondering about Shaggy, they can be answered in three words: Grand Solar and Minimum.
The storm will bring blinding, heavy wet snow across the region, likely downing trees and causing widespread power outages, road closures and thousands of flight cancellations.
“This is potentially a life-threatening storm,” said Patrick Burke, a meteorologist with the NWS’s Weather Prediction Center in Maryland.
“It’s slow moving. It won’t push farther east until Friday,” he said.
Some areas of western Minnesota and southeast South Dakota are expected to get up to 3 feet of wet, heavy snow, according to the NWS.
South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem has closed state government offices in 52 counties. Numerous schools around the state have also shut.
While Minnesota Governor Tim Walz says “the National Guard stands ready” to rescue any stranded motorists.
And stay tuned for updates.
Grand Solar Minimum + Pole Shift
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